Hava Goldshtein’s father Leiba Goldshtein and uncle Srul Goldshtein

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My father (on the right) and his brother Srul photographed on service in Romanian army during WWI. Photo made to be sent to their parents and sisters. My father's parents, whom I never saw, Moisey and Golda Goldshtein, were born 1860s, in the town of Yassy in Bessarabia that belonged to Romania before 1939. There was a big Jewish community in Yassy before WWII. There were 10 synagogues, yeshyva, few cheders and a number of stores selling kosher products. Jews were mainly involved in crafts and trade. My grandfather Moisey was wealthy. He didn't study in grammar school may be he went to cheder in the childhood, but he was smart and business-oriented. He was the older son of his parents. He inherited a fur factory and in due time expanded his business and opened a shop and a store in the factory. Besides, he owned an apartment building in the center of the town for lease where his family lived in a 6-room apartment. My grandparents were religious. Every morning grandfather went to the synagogue near their house. My grandmother went to the synagogue on Saturday. They spoke Yiddish in the family, but they also spoke fluent Romanian. They strictly followed all Jewish traditions. There were seven children in the family: my father had four brothers and two sisters. The boys studied in cheder, all children finished a grammar school. I know very little about my father's brothers or his parents. My father, born in Yassy in 1894 finished cheder and grammar school. My father was very fond of animals (horses, in particular) and became a veterinary doctor after graduating from an agricultural or veterinary institute. In 1914 when WWI began my father went to the Romanian army. He was at the front and was captured and sent to a camp for prisoners-of-war in Poltava, a provincial town in the center of Ukraine in 300 kms from Kiev. My father was in captivity between 1915 and 1917. My father got married in Poltava in 1918 after he was released from captivity. My parents couldn’t go to Ruomania where my father’s family lived since after 1917 the Soviet authorities didn’t allow Soviet citizens to leave the country. My father's brother Srul, born in 1893, was recruited to the Romanian army during WWI and returned to Yassy after the war. He assisted grandfather Moisey with his business and soon afterward grandfather actually left his business to Srul. In 1922 Srul married a local Jewish girl named Feiga. We even have her picture that Srul sent in one of his letters. Srul and Feiga had two children, but I have no information about them.

Interview details

Interviewee: Hava Goldshtein
Zhanna Litinskaya
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Kiev, Ukraine


Leiba Goldshtein
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Other Person

Srul Goldshtein
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before WW II:
Businessman, Retail merchant

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